Category Archives: Yippie

How to Limit Your Spending During the Festive Period

While Christmas may actually only consist of one day, the truth is that the festive season lasts for weeks on end, but if you don’t have a solid plan, your finances may not.

As expectations increase, people find themselves spending more than they can afford in order to make this Christmas extra special. With gifts to buy for the whole family, a delicious five-course meal to prepare, and not to mention stocking up on Christmas treats and nibbles, your budget can soon be stretched to the same degree as those special turkey pants you wear on the big day.

But don’t feel helpless just yet, there is plenty of time to make a difference with your spending habits and still have a wonderful holiday.

Write expenses down

It may not sound like the most exciting thing to do, but writing down every Christmas expense you have will keep you on track with your budget. Often you don’t realise how much you are spending, especially if you have been buying bits and bobs for the last few months. Didn’t realise you’d spent $20 on Christmas chocolate for the kids? Write it down to avoid frittering away the budget.

Underestimate your budget

Even if you actually spend $425 for Christmas, it is always better to over budget and work it out as if you’ve spent $500. This will enable you to have some extra money left over just in case something goes wrong and you need emergency funds, as opposed to being left with nothing.

Limit to one item

If you have children, you will be familiar with the plethora of toys they demand every year, only to leave most of them unopened on the floor while they fall in love with the chosen one. Instead of buying your children multiple presents, simply purchase the one they would like the most. This avoids any wasted money and teaches your children to be more appreciative for what they have.

Utilize the power of the sales

Unless you can hop into a time machine and go back to January, the sales may seem useless to you. But did you know that many retailers have pre-Christmas online sales, such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday where you can find items with significant price reductions. Get online today and see what you can find!

Use cashback websites

Want to earn money for shopping? Simply register for free on a cashback site and continue shopping through their portal to earn a percentage of your shop back.

Bad Money Habits That Lead to Big Trouble

If your relatives or close friends constantly complain about their personal finances or always experience money problems, you might vow with every ounce of your strength to never be in their situation. However, a secret to making sure your finances remain on the right track is learning how to recognize small money habits that can trigger serious money problems.

The truth of the matter is, the majority of us don’t have a manual for managing our personal finances. A lot of what we know about money is through trial and error. As young adults, we make a bunch of costly mistakes. And then we spend the next few years recouping from these mistakes. But you don’t have to learn smart money management the hard way.

Here’s a rundown of seemingly small bad money habits that can cause long-term financial problems.

1. Not budgeting your money

You may feel that budgeting money is optional, and rather than balance your checkbook and create a spending plan at the beginning of each month, you might go with the flow and hope for the best. This approach might work for now, but it can gradually cause problems with your personal finances.

If you don’t have a budget or spending plan, there’s no way to know for sure where your money goes. The risk of overspending is higher if you don’t budget. But understandably, budget might be an ugly word as it implies restrictions. However, if you take a look at your income, and compare this with your expenses, you’ll know with certainty how much you have available for extra spending each month, such as recreation, transportation and miscellaneous shopping. As a result, you’re less likely to overspend on non-essentials.

2. Keeping up with the Joneses

You may be independent and have a mind of your own, but when it comes to personal finances, you might fall for a common trap: keeping up with the Joneses — or more specifically, your relatives, your coworkers, your friends or your neighbors.

This might not seem like a big deal, but it really depends on how far you’re willing to go to give the impression that you have more than you actually do. Maybe you live in a region where a lot of the residents are high earners, such as New York City or certain parts of California. If your friends or coworkers have disposable income to shop on a regular basis, eat out several times a week or take nice vacations, you might feel pressured to keep up with their lifestyle. This is a costly bad habit that can lead to serious debt, and if unable to reign in spending, a bankruptcy attorney might be the only hope for getting your finances back on track.

3. Cosigning a loan

If you have excellent credit, friends or relatives may hope to benefit from your high rating — but don’t let them. It might be difficult to say no if someone you care about asks you to cosign a loan for them. But at the end of the day, you have to protect yourself. Therefore, you need to be realistic about the situation. Cosigning a loan or credit card is a huge deal, and as cosigner you’re equally responsible for any debt or balance the other person incurs. This person might agree to make every monthly payment, but there are no guarantees. And if this person defaults, guess who’s responsible for the payment — you.

4. Shopping to feel better

If you had a bad day at work, got into a fight with your best friend or broke up with your boyfriend or girlfriend, a little retail therapy might boost your spirits. But if you get into a habit of shopping whenever you’re feeling down, this can lead to serious problems with your personal finances. You might slowly increase your credit card debt, or you might spend money designated for bills.

Treating yourself to something special might provide immediate happiness, but it doesn’t last. So, look for other ways to lift your spirits when you’re feeling sad — cheaper ways. Go for a walk, explore your creative side or call up a friend.

Maintaining control of your money can protect your finances. But to do this, you have to recognize habits that can complicate your personal finances and make it harder to reach goals.

Portland Roasting

portlandroasting

It’s National Coffee Day, and here in Portland, coffee is taken seriously. In fact, not surprisingly Portland is ranked the 2nd best city for coffee snobs.

Our households buy our coffee through a school program with Portland Roasting Company that contributes $4 out of ever $10 purchase directly to the school. Now if you ask me, that is beats a bake sale any day!

Most of us drink coffee, so this way we can do so and support our local schools at the same time. If you live in Portland, or even if you don’t, drop us a note and we can connect you with the organizers of the program and hook you up with some awesome coffee for a great cause.

350 bakery

I also have to share about the newest and most fabulous 350 Bakery & Coffee Bar in Washington, DC. Conveniently right across the street from where we just moved from, 350 Bakery is a fabulous addition to the neighborhood. I typically stay away from pastries, but if you are going to have one, it might as well be delicious! Plus the staff cannot be beat on the friendliness factor. It isn’t surprising, since Andy, their head barista, was actually trained in Portland. Stop by and check them out!

Enjoy a cup!

Miel

Reward Yourself

With consumer debt at recent lows and savings up, Americans are more interested in what rewards their cards will give them.

As savvy sisters, we are always interested in seeing what are the best cards out there.

Darcy has been a fan of the easy Costco AmEx card, that rewards you for shopping in bulk.

I have used Chase cards for years, either with United Miles or with their Sapphire card.

As I will be getting a car soon, for the first time in over a decade, I am interested in checking out some gas cards.

Gas rewards cards are a great way for you to save money on one of the items that you need to buy. Being able to earn money back or save money on such a necessary item is extremely helpful for your budget.  

However, figuring out which gas rewards card is the right fit for your household can be difficult and time consuming.  That is why Sunoco has created the credit card comparison chart which allows you to easily narrow down which card is right for you.  With this tool you can easily compare the discounts and benefits of several different companies.  

What cards do you use, and why?

Cheers,

Miel

Becoming A Mama Bliss Coach

This quote captures the essence of creating Mama Bliss and sharing your passion with your family and beyond...

This quote captures why/how creating Mama Bliss for ourselves inspires our children and beyond.

I can hardly believe that I haven’t written about becoming a Mama Bliss Coach on this blog (I was honestly too busy with coaching school/practice). In June I completed a 12-week course that taught me all about becoming a life coach. The training reinforced the path I’ve been on as a Simplicity Parenting Coach (check out my debut interview with OMamas). It also taught me specific new coaching tools to work with Mamas on their path to creating more bliss. Mama Bliss Coaching delves into four personal areas of your life:

  • Self-care
  • Simplicity
  • Values
  • Creativity

I like to think of them as a hierarchy of needs, only it’s all about creating your unique version of Mama Bliss. Creating genuine Mama Bliss is about going deep within to get honest with yourself to ask where you are your life now, and where you want your family be…and then bridging that gap. Asking yourself who you are now, and who you know you can become. It’s a delicate balance of dealing with the chaos of your daily life, and persistently working toward your longer term vision. Finding ways to cherish the moment, express yourself creatively and discover what truly brings you bliss.

It’s about not getting trapped in the modern day “Busy Mama Syndrome” of doing everything for everyone else but yourself…since that gerbil wheel will only take you so far really. It’s about creating a clear vision of what you most desire and finding ways to fulfill your purpose. While I talk all about “Mamas,” it’s really about your whole self who happens to be a Mama.

Mama Bliss Coaching is a collaborative process where we work together to look at the areas of your life that currently cause you stress and gradually bring more and more bliss into your life. It’s a process, not a magic pill. But let me tell you, once you’ve begun the path toward Mama Bliss, it’s hard to turn back to the grind.

Now that I’ve found my calling, my work brings me joy. Rather than feeling like work, I’ve felt elated after each and every coaching session. Yes, I’ve felt overwhelmed at times by the amount of effort it takes to launch a business and keep my family running, I have a deep sense of satisfaction knowing that I am ready, willing and able to serve fellow mamas on their own paths of professional and personal self-discovery. I’ve attracted some amazing working professionals as clients, and am excited about supporting them as they reach their higher vision for themselves and their families.

Lastly, I want to share two exciting updates.

One, my very first podcast interview with my coaching school teacher, Ms. Kathy Stowell from Bliss Beyond Naptime. I feel eternally grateful to have found this coaching program when I did (last winter I was feeling pretty disappointed by the fact that leading Simplicity Parenting classes was just not the right model for the clients I want to reach…plus that I wanted to help transform the whole mama, not just the “parenting mama”). And thank you to my inspiring cohort of fellow Mama Bliss Coaches, a truly inspiring and impressive bunch of colleagues.

Second, I’ve just posted info about my very first Mama Bliss Beach Retreat, November 14-16. I’ve been hyping this up in my mind for sooooo long, envisioning the whole beautiful experience and can hardly wait to make this part of my dream come true…hopefully with you!

Wishing you Mama Bliss!

Darcy